The Flinn Spill Control Center contains all the materials and equipment necessary to clean up and contain any of the following types of liquid spills—acids, bases, flammables, biohazards and nonhazards. Each E-Z pour container contains enough spill control materials to contain and clean up a 2.5-liter bottle of liquid. Please read the spill control procedures that follow for directions on how to clean up a spill.
Installation, Inspection and Maintenance
The cabinet can be placed on a countertop or hung on a wall using the included hangers. This spill control center weighs more than 40 pounds, please seek professional help installing this center on a wall. The Spill Control Center should be inspected at least once a semester. To inspect, make sure all the safety items are still in the Spill Control Center. Promptly replace any items that are missing (see Materials). During the inspection, the E-Z pour neutralizer should also be turned upside down to make sure it is still free-flowing. If the neutralizer has compacted and hardened, gently tap the container to break up the solid mass.
E-Z pour absorbent (SE104)
E-Z pour acid neutralizer (SE103)
E-Z pour sand ( SE105)
Absorbent pads, 12" x 12", package of 6 (SE121)
Biohazard spill kit (FB0061)
Counter brush (AP1228)
Dust pan (AP1662)
Nitrile gloves, acid-resistant, size 10 (AP3260)
Visor Goggles (AP1362)
A written contingency plan on how to handle chemical spills should be part of every school’s Chemical Hygiene Plan. The following procedure is an example of a contingency plan.
To contain and control a chemical spill, the following procedure works well.
- Quickly assess the spill, its hazards and the danger to yourself and your students and take appropriate action. If the spilled chemicals are unknown, assume the worst and evacuate.
- Notify other laboratory personnel of the accident, and if necessary, evacuate the area. The safety of you and your students is always the top priority.
- Tend to any injured or contaminated person and if necessary request help. If the chemical is splashed into an eye or onto skin, immediately irrigate using an eyewash or shower. If the chemical is splashed on your clothes, you may have time to first contain the spill using the spill control materials and then treat yourself. Remember, if a safety shower is used near a chemical spill, the water may expand the spill area.
- Take steps to contain and limit the spill if this can be done without risk of injury or contamination.
- Clean up the spill using the appropriate procedures for the spilled material. Dispose of contaminated materials properly.
- Call in emergency personnel if at any time your safety or your students’ safety is in jeopardy.
- Gently pour sand around the spill and onto the spill. The sand will contain the spill, prevent it from spreading and also provide traction to walk over it, if necessary.
- Next, pour absorbent (kitty litter, oil absorbent) around the spill and onto the spill. This will absorb the liquid and also begin to contain any vapors. For both the absorbent and sand, it is best to gently drop or sprinkle the spill control material around the spill and then onto the spill to avoid spreading the spill.
- Finally, if the spill is a concentrated inorganic acid, apply the acid neutralizer around the spill and onto the spill. The neutralizer needs to be mixed well with the sand and absorbent to come in contact with all of the spilled chemical—use a plastic broom to mix well. If the spill is a diluted acid, the sand/absorbent mixture may be sufficient to contain the spill.
- After the spill is controlled, students are evacuated, and injuries are addressed, then the cleanup begins. If the material is warm or still giving off vapors, ventilate the room and wait before cleaning up.
- Use a plastic dustpan and plastic broom to sweep up the now neutralized solid materials and place them into large, heavy-duty garbage or leaf bags for disposal. If at any time during the chemical spill containment or cleanup step you don’t feel comfortable, leave the area and get help. The neutralized materials should be able to be disposed of in the trash—check with local authorities.
- Thoroughly wash the contaminated area with water and allow it to air dry.
Make spill control containment and cleanup part of your department’s annual safety training. Simulate a chemical spill with water and use sand as the control material. Note how quickly the “spill” spreads. Practice applying the spill control material around and then onto the spill. Determine the most convenient location for storing the spill control materials. Training is one of the most important components of an effective safety program.
Chemical spills will occur in the laboratory. With proper equipment, procedures and training, many spills can be prevented and the spills that do occur can be handled safely and effectively.